Large fire and explosion in Russian shopping center
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One person died in a massive fire the size of a football field which occurred overnight in the shopping mall and entertainment centre Mega Khimki in a northern Moscow suburb on Friday.
"In the Moscow region, firefighters are putting out a fire the size of 7,000 square metres (75,300 square feet)," Russia's Ministry of Emergency Situations said on Telegram.
The fire started overnight and the first information was published at 8.30 AM Moscow time.
According to BBC World, arson is being investigated as a possible cause of the fire, but an electrical fault is thought to be a more likely trigger.
Initially the state controlled news agency Ria Novosti said that arson may have been the reason for the fire outbreak. However Russian authorities later said arson was the least likely cause of the fire. The fire service allegedly have claimed welding work in the shopping center started the fire.
At least one explosion at the store OBI, which sells home and garden improvement wares, caused the structure to start collapsing, firefighters said. The explosion is thought to have been caused by exploding aerosols and paint tins.
The building is considered more or less a total loss, and the material damage is estimated to 30 billion Rubel, or about 450,000 Euros.